March 05, 2014

DIY Token Reinforcement Towers

instructions to create your own token tower reinforcement system

Token Towers reinforcement system from Super Duper, Inc has been on my wish list since I was in grad school. It is really motivating for students to try to fill up the whole tower! However, I just couldn't bring myself to pay the $30 price tag. So I set out to make my own version, DIY style. Here's what I came up with!

The tube is a PVC plastic I got from Craft's Direct. I like it because it is a strong plastic so the tube won't cave in or dent easily. Plus, it has a cover to easily contain and store the tokens. You could also use leftover tubes from ornaments or might be able to find something at the hardware store. (Normally $1.99, I got mine on sale 2/$1)

I had a heck of a time finding tokens that where thick, filled the tube without using a million tokens, and slid easily in and out of the tube. I ended up using these chocolate candy coins from Party City. The wrappers are difficult to get off, so I should be able to use them for a while before needing to replace any. I needed 45 coins to fill my tube. (15 coins for $1)

Then I cut a piece of contact paper to fit the tube and made marks with a permanent marker for every 5 tokens.

Total price: about $4.00! I can make a whole bunch of these for the price of the commercial set :)

I started wrapping a hair band around the tube to mark where my students need to reach. A rubber band would also work. Enjoy! If you create your own, let me know in the comments below, or tag @schoolhousetalk on Instagram!

Abby is giving up candy and is struggling not to eat her token tower.


  1. Great Idea! Thanks for sharing!

    1. You're welcome! Thanks for reading Jenna!

  2. How do they earn the coins? When your kids get to the top, do you share a coin with them?

    1. It really depends on the student. So for some students I will give them a coin for each successful trial; others might get a coin for every 5 or 10 attempts. For most of my students I let them know when they get to a certain line or to the top that their work will be done for the day, or they can have a break, or time with a preferred activity. The tower can really be used in different ways for different students, I just let them know the expectations before we begin. I hope it can work for you!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Do you have a link for the tubes from Craft's Direct? I can't find them on the website...Thanks!